Stan Van Gundy was not happy following the Detroit Pistons’ loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. The coach-president ripped into his team and even saved some of the blame for himself.
From ESPN.com’s Nick Friedell:
The message I gave them is, ‘Look, we got 10 games left,” he said. “And if we don’t change the way we’re playing, this is going to get really, really ugly.
“We didn’t defend at any point in the second half. We didn’t defend much in the first half, either. Just really disappointing. We were 33-33, got tied, back to .500 after that New York game [on March 11], ran into a buzz saw in Cleveland [three nights later], and that’s it. We haven’t bounced back. It’s like we took that one hit and have not recovered at all. Have not played a decent game since then. This is six bad games in a row.”
“Right now, we don’t have a lot of life in us, and we got to find some by Friday,” Van Gundy added. “It’s just not one position, either. We’re just not playing. We’re not. We’re just bad all the way around.”
There was also this:
SVG: "I think it's pretty clear from these six games I'm not finding the answers and I'm not doing a very good job. So it starts with me."
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) March 23, 2017
It’s weird that the Pistons would suffer from swings in effort. They’re in the middle of a heated playoff race. Their loss to the Bulls drops them to 10th in the Eastern Conference, three games in the loss column behind the eighth-place Miami Heat.
Since March 1, the Pistons are 5-7, with a bottom-seven net rating, according to NBA.com. Neither their offense nor defense has been good, and they’ve now lost six of their last seven. Wednesday night’s letdown was particularly troubling with the Bulls working off the second night of a back-to-back and playing without Dwyane Wade (injury) and Robin Lopez (suspended).
Van Gundy’s candor is rare among coaches, so perhaps his bluntness will resonate with the team. But the Pistons have been an unimpressive, if horribly underachieving, roller coaster all year. No one should expect them to stop now.